The mistake that sleazy and corrupt MPs commonly make is to assume that everyone is like themselves. It was a big mistake for Kevan 'trougher' Jones to make when he tried to nobble Gen Sir Richard Dannatt with a smear over the general's expenses; both the Mail and the News of the World come out in defence of the general today with examples of Jones' troughing and the general's thriftyness.
I'll also bet that the cost of catering at the Summer garden parties at the Palace comes out at about £2 a head; three cups of tea, a cucumber sandwich and a small rock bun.
What Labour's vulgar and conspicuous consumption culture can't get its head around is that value and thrift are built-in qualities amongst Britain's old establishment; Labour will plump for champagne and Mayfair catering whilst Dannatt will serve £1.49 a bottle Lidl white and home-made mushroom vol au vents.
What Dannatt and the Queen both realise is that the food and drink isn't the point; it's just what you fiddle with between conversations. The point of these things is meeting and networking. And that's something Bob Jobsworth and 'Trougher' Jones will never understand.